Vitamin D interactions with soy isoflavones on bone after menopause: a review

Nutrients. 2012 Nov 6;4(11):1610-21. doi: 10.3390/nu4111610.


Vitamin D is known to increase Ca absorption in adults. However, the threshold vitamin D status to benefit Ca absorption is lower than the target vitamin D status for higher bone mineral density and lower fracture risk, pointing to another pathway for vitamin D to benefit bone. One possibility is by affecting osteoblast and osteoclasts directly. Vitamin D-related bone metabolism may also be affected by soy isoflavones, which selectively bind to the estrogen receptor β and may reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women. We discuss a possible synergistic effect of soy isoflavones and vitamin D on bone by affecting osteoblast and osteoclast formation and activity in postmenopausal women.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absorption / drug effects
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Drug Synergism
  • Female
  • Genistein / administration & dosage
  • Hip Fractures
  • Humans
  • Isoflavones / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / prevention & control
  • Phytoestrogens / administration & dosage
  • Postmenopause*
  • Risk Factors
  • Soybeans / chemistry*
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*


  • Isoflavones
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Vitamin D
  • daidzein
  • Genistein
  • Calcium